The Skating Club of Boston is New England’s premier figure skating club and has created a community for families and athletes for more than 100 years. In September of 2020, The Skating Club moved into a state-of-the-art, 180,000-squarefoot training facility in Norwood, Massachusetts.
The new facility includes three skating rinks — including the Olympic-size Tenley E. Albright Performance Center — catering to figure skaters at every level as well as hockey players. Also included is The Micheli Center for Sports Injury Prevention providing skaters with strength and conditioning options; The Studio, which meets the growing need for dance training and choreography; The Frieling Family Club Lounge to provide a sophisticated, private space boasting a bird’s-eye view of the Performance Center; and The Club Library and Academic Center.
Focused on providing enough space to nurture the talent of skaters at every level while allowing them to host competitions, the Club’s leadership was committed to the expansion of the original facility while maintaining the community it has built over the last century in the New England area. In 2011, The Skating Club of Boston realized it was finally time to find a new location to call home.
The original building, built in 1938, housed a single skating rink with a sound system that had been damaged through both moisture and use, making it impossible to have a clear, seamless sound experience during practices and events. The Skating Club invested significant time over the last several years to define a design and vision that would house the club and community for the next century.
The goal was to create a best-in-class skating facility with the finest audio experience possible supporting elite figure skating events. This vision included an audio solution that provided the highest quality for both voice intelligibility and music — especially important in the new 2,500-seat Performance Center given the Club’s status as a member of US Figure Skating. This solution would deliver a superior audio experience for performers on the ice, judges and the audience in the stands.
The audio solution was the result of collaboration across a group of experts brought in by Doug Zeghibe, CEO of The Skating Club of Boston, and his team. The audio design expertise included senior design consultant Pete Thompson and engineer David Shapiro from ACT Associates; as well as the Ambient Sound Team who oversaw and were responsible for the full installation and programing of the multi-rink system.
Daniel Govoni, associate vice president for Northstar Project and Real Estate Management, managed the design and construction of the project. The resulting audio system integrated the specific needs of multiple rinks, meeting rooms and public spaces into a unified solution, delivering vocal intelligibility while accurately representing the vast variety of music selected for each competing skater.
The Performance Center — the Olympic-sized centerpiece of The Skating Club’s new facility — is equipped with the ArenaMatch AM20 and AM40 loudspeakers that provide corresponding 20°/40° vertical coverage patterns. A ShowMatch SMS118 subwoofer was added to provide extended low-frequency response down to 29 Hz, and a PowerMatch PM8500N configurable power amplifier provided the concert-quality sound to deliver an Olympic level sound system.
The West Figure Skating Training rink offers seating for 1,500 spectators and is specifically designed to support a variety of competitive figure skating events. Its system consists of ArenaMatch Utility AMU105 loudspeakers specifically built for zone-fill coverage and high-SPL while delivering tonal balance in a compact design, and a ShowMatch SMS118 subwoofer, all powered by PowerMatch PM4500N and PM8500N power amplifiers.
The East Multipurpose rink is a dual-purpose space for both hockey and figure skating and features a ShowMatch sound system, which also includes a ShowMatch SMS118 subwoofer to support low-frequency needs and is powered by a PowerMatch PM8500N power amplifier. Throughout the shared public spaces and meeting rooms, from The Micheli Center to The Club Lounge, Bose Professional products were used to provide background music and paging and announcements, ultimately providing a comprehensive, diverse audio solution for this Olympic level venue.
The Skating Club’s new home is now a very prestigious facility and a source of great pride for this community, and the resulting facility-wide audio solution surpassed everyone’s hopes. Since audio plays such a critical role in skating events at every level, the years of planning and collaborative efforts paid off, resulting in a world-class home that any organization would be proud of.
ACT Associates is a design, consulting and project management firm based out of Storrs, Connecticut. In today’s environment, audio, video, voice, data and displays must be integrated to work together as a single technology.
Ambient Sound is located In Rhode Island, provides a comprehensive portfolio of services including AV design and installation, rental and staging, in-house AV services, equipment sales, service, and maintenance.
Northstar Project & Real Estate Services focuses solely on real estate development, project management and advisory services serving the institutional, higher education, commercial, residential and research and development clients in greater Boston area.